You’re having fun dating different guys, and while you’re ready for a sexual relationship you don’t want to fall pregnant, contract a sexually transmitted disease or get your heart broken. Here are all the different ways you can protect yourself while still enjoying sex.
Make sure you’re ready to start having sex
There’s quite a bit of responsibility involved once you start having sex with someone new. To begin with, you have to make sure that you’re protected, not just where sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy are concerned, but also your emotions. If you don’t think you can have sex with someone without becoming emotionally attached to him, and it’s clear that one or neither of you wants a committed relationship, then it’s best not to start anything sexual.
Likewise, if you’ve just come out of a relationship and are still feeling vulnerable, then you may want to hold off on having sex with someone new.
Choose your sex partner wisely
You don’t want to (and shouldn’t) just have sex with anyone. It should be someone whom you know is single like you, and someone whom you know relatively well. Sleeping with a stranger is risky in so many ways – you never know if he will harm you or put you in a dangerous situation, plus, you don’t want to find out, after you’ve slept with him, that he’s actually married or in a relationship with someone else. Even if you’re not dating him seriously, you should at least feel that he can be trusted not to hurt or endanger you.
Avoid having sex on the first date (or the first couple of dates)
If you’re planning on getting sexually involved with a new guy, it’s a good idea to spend a few dates getting to know him first. One date isn’t enough to tell if he’s trustworthy or if he’s just using you; it also isn’t enough to work out what kind of person he is or how your relationship will unfold. Sex is most enjoyable when you’re emotionally connected to the other person, so it makes sense to wait until the emotional intimacy is there before taking the relationship further.
Ask your sex partner about his sexual history
Be smart, not ignorant, when it comes to your sexual health. This means talking about your sexual histories before you start having sex. Questions to ask your new partner include: “Have you ever had an STD? How many women have you slept with? When did you last engage in risky sex? Do you always use a condom when you have sex?”
Having this discussion is far from sexy but it’s important if you want to protect yourself. If the guy has a shady sexual past or refuses to answer your questions, then you might want to think twice about getting sexually involved with him.
Speak to your doctor about contraception
There are various types of contraception available that can help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. To find out which contraceptive method is right for you, speak to your doctor. He or she will recommend the best one, taking into account your lifestyle, health and sexual habits. Types of contraception include IUDs (intra-uterine device), which has to be inserted into your uterus by a doctor; hormonal implants or patches; birth control pills (The Pill); and barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms.
Make sure he wears a condom during sex
The Pill, diaphragms and IUDs may help prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but they will not protect you from STDs. Your best bet to prevent an STD is a condom, since this keeps the male ejaculate from coming into contact with your own bodily fluids, and vice versa. So, even if you’re on some other form of birth control, make sure that your partner always puts on a condom before having sex with you.
Draw up a few sex “rules” – and stick to them
Be clear, in your own mind, about what you’re willing to do and how far you will go with your new sex partner. If you’re not comfortable going back to his place for sex then don’t. If you absolutely will not have sex with him unless he wears a condom then be sure to enforce that rule. If you don’t think it’s a good idea to start having sex until you’ve talked about being in a relationship, then stick to your guns. Having a few good rules in place will prevent you from making poor decisions, especially in the heat of the moment or when you’re put on the spot. Having rules also shows that you’re someone with principles and values, and that will make your partner take you more seriously.
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